February 23, 2020

If we had to pick our favourite thing to do with the children in the community that's much more enjoyable than a day spent at a doctor's office, or lining up to pay school fees, it would be taking them on picnics where all we do is play all day (with very few rules, ex...

October 27, 2019

Mumbai, the most populous city in India, is squeezed into a peninsula on the edge of the Arabian Sea. It’s a hot, muggy, cosmopolitan city, with a polluted always hazy skyline, crammed with high-rise buildings housing the middle class and the wealthy, some with views o...

July 29, 2018

Engaging, confusing, consuming, frustrating, enlightening, filthy, disorienting, lively, loud and never boring, Mumbai is like a friend who infuriates you but you still want to be part of their life. This heaving city breathes life into us and simultaneously sucks the...

January 9, 2017

The kids kept adding names to the list while they sat knee-to-knee in Indu’s one-room home drawing Christmas trees, adding sparkles and stars and strings of bright lights rendered in crayon. They made Santa Claus masks that looked more scary than sweet and wore them as...

December 9, 2016

Dealing with the new normal in India.

Being in India is never easy, it’s never calm, it’s never boring and it’s never without small and large daily frustrations, but this time India has almost defeated us. Almost. The rules of the game keep shifting.

We arrived in M...

September 13, 2016

Riya Is Gone -  Born August 7, 2015 - Died August 24, 2016

In the Hindu religion there are numerous goddesses. In the slum community, Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity), and Durga (the goddess of divine female energy and power) are worshipped with i...

July 11, 2016

We are forever grateful to these two groups of students from Canada and Australia, and their selfless teachers, who encourage and inspire them to think and then act outside of their comfort zone.Their willingness to learn about, and then do something to contribute to a...

April 27, 2016

Riya was just three days old and weighed about two pounds when her mother, Neelam, who was barely into her twenties, died in a government hospital in Mumbai. 


I first laid eyes on Riya when a group of little girls walked into the tuition hut with one of them holding he...

March 5, 2016

Saturday at Indu’s Excellent Tuition Centre is reserved for making a beautiful mess using coloured paper, sparkles, crayons, glue, staples, scissors and imagination. This is the day most kids show up for tuition on time. Some days are organised, meaning Indu and I deci...

February 8, 2016

Getting on the property ladder in Saki Naka

The Marwah side of the slum is currently a hive of building activity. Porous rust-coloured bricks are stacked one upon the other, stuck together with a glue of wet cement mixed by hand in the lane ways replacing corrugated t...

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